HomeSportKobi's gold season continues at state surf titles

Kobi’s gold season continues at state surf titles

Kobi Holden
Dual gold medallist at the Queensland Youth State Championships, Kobi Holden, competes for Queensland Country earlier in the season. Picture courtesy of Bec Devine (Swim Surf Photography)

The star of Elliott Heads’ Kobi Holden continued to rise as he racked up two gold medals at the 2021 Surf Life Saving Queensland Youth State Championships at North Kirra on the weekend.

Kobi and Xavier Ulbl of the Bundaberg club claimed the region’s only medal at the titles, with the latter picking up a bronze.

Kobi claimed the under-14 male board race and ironman double, also finishing fifth in the surf race final while Xavier secured his third placing in the U13 male beach flags and went agonisingly close to another bronze medal when finishing fourth in the sprint final.

Kobi also joined forces with Laswari Iboro, Cohen Palmer, and Isaac Barrett, in the U14 male beach relay, progressing to the final, and were in medal contention before an unfortunate baton drop at the last change put them out of contention.

Kobi’s proud father, lifesaving icon and club head coach Craig, said his son had previously won state gold, but only in pool rescue events.

“His previous best at surf/beach was bronze medals in U11 surf race and board rescue, while as an U12 he made swim, board and iron finals but no medals, and there were no state champs last year when he was U13,” Craig said.

Craig attributes Kobi’s improvement in what has been a golden season for the youngster to several factors – “maturity, improvement with his swimming training under Paul Simms, change from nipper board to senior board and probably his attitude, dedication and commitment to training.”

Kobi has already claimed a place in the Queensland Junior Cyclones representative team after a series of dazzling performances for Queensland Country at the Surf Life Saving Queensland Interbranch Championships at Gold Coast in November where he racked up six wins.

He will now compete in the Australian Youth Surf Life Saving championships at Maroochydore on April 16-17.

Craig said Kobi’s long-term goals were to make an Australian youth lifesaving team when old enough and to contest a professional ironman series.

Also figuring strongly at North Kirra were dynamic Elliott Heads all-rounders, Caiden Everingham and Casey Giles, who each also narrowly missed medals with fourth placings, the former in the U15 male 2km run, and the latter filling the same place out of more than 100 competitors in the U13 female flags.

Laswari and Isaac also teamed up with Caiden and Rohan McDonald in the U15 male beach relay to place fifth in their semi-final, missing a spot in the final by just one place.

Craig said all 14 other Elliott Heads team members acquitted themselves well, including Aarj Day, who finished third in the U11 male surf race, but suffered heartbreak, being disqualified for not being on his feet when he crossed the line.

“But Aarj bounced back from his disappointment in the surf race final to take his place in the U11 ironman final and show how tough and resilient he is,” Craig said.

“He was also part of our U11 male cameron relay team, also comprising Drew Woods, Malachi Iboro, and Aidan Berthelsen, which wound up a very creditable seventh in the state.

“Our U13 male beach relay team of Jack Gaston, Max O’Brien, Lucas Powell and Cohen Palmer also aimed up to reach the final where they gave it their best shot, snaring sixth.

“Rohan McDonald was around 11th or 12th in the U15 male board race final and also swam well in the surf race final, and Indi Bland qualified for two finals, ending up around 12th in the U12 female surf race and a similar position in the board race.

“Earlier, our 1km beach run finalists did us proud as well, with Max O’Brien Top 10 in the U12 male team, while Cohen Palmer, Willem Themsen and Anika Green also ran very very well.

“Max O’Brien was also gallant in his U13 male surf race semi to miss a start in the final by just two places, while Willem just missed a place in U12 male board race final after a great semi-final paddle.”

Xavier Ulbl
Xavier Ulbl gained his second state medal with bronze in the under-13 male beach flags at North Kirra.

Xavier Ulbl was also a state medallist in 2019, claiming silver in the U11 male sprint, and he again mixed it with the best on the beach.

Bundaberg Junior activities chairperson Janine Lester was also “super proud” of Xavier and their whole team of 32.

“Congratulations to all of our athletes who excelled during finals day, including also the U12 female board relay team of Georgia Campbell, Ava McCaig, and Cassidy Parsons, placing seventh, Cassidy making it to board semi-final, and Ava to the board final,” Janine said.

“Mimi Woods also finished 13th in the swim final and made the ironwoman semi, Gabi Vaggs reached the swim semi, and Lana Grant did well to run seventh in the sprint final.”

The Bundaberg team of Ashley Burgess, Jamie Gatt, Lana Grant, Caleb Hann, Annie Harris, Molly Kerby, Evella McKay, Elizabeth Pascoe, Ben Taylor, Ariana Ulbl, Gabrielle Vaggs and Amelia Walsh also showed great style to claim an honourable fifth out 19 teams in the march past.


New sensation Nykodah Smith bagged another four goals as Waves white-washed SC Corinthians 13-0 in the nation-wide knock-out FFA Cup showdown at Martens Oval on Wednesday night.

There were seven other scorers, with Sam Meyer and Luke Vincent both notching doubles, and singles to Hayden Lobegeiger, Bryce Hibberd, Dylan Shackley, Nick Chatfield, and Myles Jacobsen.

Waves have the bye in the Wide Bay Premier League Men tomorrow, but Corinthians will back up against Brothers-Aston Villa at Martens Oval at 6pm.

At the same time on neighbouring fields, Bingera, who had the first-round bye, will aim up against 2020 grand final champions United Park Eagles (UPE), who will be smarting after a surprise first-up 2-1 defeat at the hands of Doon Villa, and Diggers will go head-to-head with Doon Villa.

Reigning women’s champions UPE will make their first appearance of 2021 against Bingera in the Wide Bay Premier League Women’s at 8pm tonight.

The first round of Junior fixtures will also be played this weekend.


Hervey Bay Bombers will have home-ground advantage when they attempt to stop the Across The Waves juggernaut in the AFL Wide Bay Takalvan’s Women’s Premiership sixth round at Norm McLean Oval tomorrow.

Bay Power will host the other match of the round against Gympie Cats, with Brothers Bulldogs to enjoy the bye.

Horse racing

Montana Philpot
Apprentice jockey Montana Philpot rides Lieutenant to victory in the Bob Gallagher Memorial Handicap at Thabeban Park on Saturday.

Bundaberg will long hold a place in the heart of Sunshine Coast Apprentice Jockey Montana Philpot after she notched her first race winner at her 10th race ride, then made it a double in the next event at the Catholic Schools Race Day on Saturday.

The 21-year-old, whose parents Gus and the late Donna were both former top jockeys throughout Queensland, followed her parents and older sister Jess into the game despite her mother being tragically killed in a training fall in Bendigo almost four years ago.

“Riding my first winner (Exocet Rocket) was something extraordinary – I got shivers when I crossed the line and knowing that I had done it gave me a sense of achievement and a lot of happiness and emotion in general,” Montana said.

“I knew that I was a good chance in the next race (on Lieutenant), so I just tried to control my excitement and keep level headed.

“After I won that race too, it was definitely a fairytale moment to not only have ridden my first winner but then to make it a double.”

Montana said she and her partner Hayden moved back to Queensland in April last year and she linked with top trainer Stuart Kendrick, before making her race debut last month.

“I’ve wanted to be a jockey since I was a little girl and had been trying to become one a while before Mum’s accident, however, after her accident, I never once second guessed my dream of being a jockey,” she said.

“Growing with Mum and Dad being so heavily involved in the racing industry, I developed a love for it (like them) and most of all my love of horses was too strong, and that was/is definitely what has helped me get through life’s up and downs.”

Montana said Jess was still riding and was about to make a temporary move to Alice Springs, while her father is now also back living in Queensland.


The second and final round of Bundaberg Hockey trials in all divisions will be played at Hinkler Park this weekend, starting with one division 2 women’s game at 7.20pm tonight.

A full program tomorrow will start at 9.30am, running through to division 1 clashes between arch-rivals All Blacks and Waves Cities, with the men at 3.10pm and women at 4.30pm, and Arrows/Athletics against Rovers/Raiders, with the men at 5.50pm and women at 7.10pm.

Rugby league

Wide Bay Bulls suffered a second straight heavy loss in the second round of the QRL Under-18 Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup, going down to Sunshine Coast Falcons 50-8 at Kawana last Saturday.

They will meet the unbeaten Capras at Eskdale Park Maryborough at 3.30pm tomorrow after the Bulls and Capras also do battle in the Under-16 Cyril Connell Challenge.

Meanwhile, all is set for the start of the new Bundaberg Rugby League season at Salter Oval next Saturday, featuring a blockbusting A grade triple-header.


The Queensland Blind Cricket Association invites everyone to join them at a free Bundaberg Come and Try Day at Kendall’s Flat this Sunday from 9-11am.

Any enquiries should be directed to


Bundaberg trainer Lindsay McCarthy and David Plummer, of Takura, each claimed doubles at this week’s meeting at Thabeban Park.

Lindsay saluted the judge with former New South Wales chasers Satirical, which made it three wins and a third from four starts since joining his kennels in the 4th grade, and Throw Strikes, which won at his second run for him in a 5th grade.

David was successful with second starter Fogelberg (Maiden) and former Victorian Uncharged (5th grade pathway non-penalty).

Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president Ricky Hassall took out the rich Queensland bred mixed 4th/5th grade with Hooked on Xena, which made it back-to-back wins.

Two other district trainers were also among the winners on the program, Tom Lowe with Idle High (5th grade), and Phil Carter with Blackpool Pantha in the 550m 5th grade.

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